Photo above – Brent geese and the Mournes by Michael Wardlow
Buncrana online prayer week
Fahan Upper and Fahan Lower Parish (Buncrana) are holding an online prayer week next week. It will run from Monday 12th October through until Sunday 18th October, and the theme will be ‘The Seven Days of Creation’.
Each night for about 15 minutes – beginning at 8pm – participants will read, reflect, meditate and pray, before ‘leaving’ with something to think about or do. Resources for each evening will be posted beforehand on the parish’s Facebook page – Fahanandbuncranachurchofireland.
Plans are afoot, too, for an online Alpha course, run by ‘Buncrana Churches Together’, which will get under way in November.
Mothers’ Union Virtual Member Event
2020 has been a difficult year for us all. Yet Mothers’ Union members have continued to uplift their communities all around the world. They have acted on their faith – provided care packages to those most in need, raised awareness of the dangers of COVID-19 and supported people who have suffered GBV.
Find out more about their work in Britain and Ireland and across the world at their Virtual Member Event on 20th October:
[ https://www.mothersunion.org/get-involved/whats-on/online-virtual-member-event ]
National Bible Society Annual Lecture on Zoom
The National Bible Society invites you to join the Bedell Boyle Annual Lecture on Zoom on October 15 at 7.30pm. The speaker this year is the Revd Prof John Barton.
Proximity – New resource available to buy online
Following on from ‘Seasons in life’ and ‘Life in God’s Story’, a brand new Proximity booklet ‘Habits of a lifetime’ is now available to order. ‘Habits of a Lifetime’ explores the theme of spiritual disciplines, a timely issue for the moment we are in. This eight session resource is ideal for one-to-one mentoring or small groups.
Some background –
Following Jesus is a journey of ongoing change. Significant change in life doesn’t come easily to any of us. It demands us stepping out of old ruts and settling into new grooves. That’s about a change of habit. Down through the ages, various habits have shaped the practice of Christian faith. Each one is basic to how we are formed into the likeness of Christ. They form rhythms of devotion we need to learn to move to throughout our lives if we are not to grind to a halt, or worse still, start slipping back into ways we should have left behind long ago. Some are disciplines that shape us from within, like Bible study, prayer, worship and rest. Others are more outwardly expressed, like community, generosity, and service. As you work through this resource, may you find direction, energy, momentum and renewal in the ways of Jesus.
Order here – [ bit.ly/30I3pcT ]
New Incumbent of West Cork parishes
The Reverend Ivan Ruiters, who currently is serving as incumbent of the Parish of Karkloof in the Diocese of Natal, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, to be the new Incumbent of Kinneigh Union of Parishes in West Cork.
Ivan Ruiters (59) was made deacon in 1996 and, in 1997, was priested in the Diocese of Natal, Anglican Church of Southern Africa. In more recent years (2007 to 2016) he was incumbent of the Florencecourt Group of Parishes in the Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh. In October 2016 he became incumbent of the United Benefice of Milnrow and Newhey in the Diocese of Manchester and served there until July 2018. In August 2018 he took up his current post as incumbent of the Parish of Karkloof in the Diocese of Natal, Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
More than £10m in grants to 66 C of E churches and cathedrals
66 C of E cathedrals and churches have been awarded grants as part of the Culture Recovery Fund.
“The 16,000 church buildings we care for are witnesses to all parts of the history of England and usually tell those stories to more than 10 million a people a year who come through our doors.” – Becky Clark, Church of England Director of Cathedrals and Church Buildings
“We welcome these grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England, which will allow for business planning and job retention in the wake of the pandemic.”
Canterbury Cathedral stated – “We are delighted to have been awarded a grant from the DCMS Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage.
“This grant for critical expenditure over the next six months recognises the unprecedented impact that the Covid pandemic has had on the Cathedral’s financial position.
“The vital award from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will help to secure the Cathedral’s future and support our stewardship of this truly special place.”
Learn more about the impact at – [ cofe.io/CultureRecoveryFund ]
Communion Partner Bishops support for Albany bishop
The Communion Partner Bishops released a statement expressing support for Albany bishop William Love and concern about uneven enforcement of the canons. “This disciplinary case points to the pressing need for finding “a lasting path forward for mutual flourishing” for both sides in the question of marriage in the Episcopal Church… This indispensable place should not be an unstable one.
[ https://livingchurch.org/2020/10/10/cp-bishops-love-verdict-reveals-uneven-enforcement/ ]
First African-born leader for Irish Church
Photo – Dr Sahr Yambasu is the first Africa-born cleric to be elected by the Methodist Church in Ireland as its president designate
The Methodist Church in Ireland has for the first time elected a minister born in Africa to be its next leader.
Dr Sahr Yambasu (63) will become Methodist president for a 12-month term next summer, when he will succeed the Rev Tom McKnight.
“This is not something I never thought about or yearned for so it was great shock when I was told of the vote,” he said following the vote at the denomination’s annual Conference meeting, which is being held online because of coronavirus restrictions.
“God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform.”
After being ordained in his native Sierra Leone, Dr Yambasu was awarded a scholarship by the Methodist Church in Ireland to study in Belfast.
He was then awarded another scholarship to study at Cambridge University where he gained a PhD.
Dr Yambasu currently serves as superintendent of the Methodist Church’s Waterford circuit. He has also been principal of Sierra Leone Theological College in Freetown – the same institution that he received his own initial training.
His wife Clodagh is also a Methodist minister and the couple have three adult children. Dr Yambasu became an Irish citizen in 1989.
Dr Yambasu wrote about his experiences in a book published in 2013 called Between Africa and the West: A Story of Discovery.
MBE for Derry rector
The Rector of Faughanvale, Rev Canon Paul Hoey, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for “Services to the Community in Eglinton, Londonderry” during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Canon Hoey initiated the Eglinton Churches Together response to the crisis, which brought church members and the local community together to support people in the Eglinton and Greysteel areas who were self-isolating or feeling vulnerable. Volunteers collected and delivered shopping to their neighbours, picked up medicines and other urgent supplies, and posted mail. The local Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland churches nominated ‘contact persons’ who stayed in touch by telephone with anyone who was feeling lonely or anxious.
Canon Hoey – who was following in the footsteps of his late mother in receiving an MBE – said his honour should be seen as shared by other clergy and by the wider community. “I am humbled and, indeed, astonished to have been awarded an MBE for services to the Eglinton community,” he said. “I have served as Rector of Faughanvale for five years now and during that time have seen the community coming together as one to overcome challenges that would defeat many others.
“I hope the award will be seen as a shared honour by the many who have worked with me for the good of the local community, especially my colleagues in ministry, Rev Lindsay Blair and Father Noel McDermott; the staff and helpers at Eglinton Community Centre; and the many volunteers who have given so selflessly of their time and energy to ensure that shielding and vulnerable people have been supported during the pandemic. Most of all, it is a tribute to the resilience and generosity of the people of Eglinton.
“On a personal note, I am honoured and moved to be following in the footsteps of my late mother who received the same award many years ago.”
Canon Hoey was congratulated by the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Andrew Forster. “I congratulate Canon Paul Hoey on being honoured by Her Majesty the Queen,” the Bishop said. “The award is richly deserved and a great tribute to the positive impact that he has had during his five years as Rector of Faughanvale. I hope this award will serve as an encouragement to Paul and his colleagues of other denominations who have jointly modelled compassionate and practical faith in their communities. I hope that it will also encourage the villagers of Eglinton and Greysteel, who have responded with remarkable resilience and generosity to the challenges of flood and pandemic, in recent years, setting an inspirational example to us all.”
Autumn Issue of the Church of Ireland journal, Search
The autumn issue of the Church of Ireland journal, Search, edited by Canon Ginnie Kennerley, is now available. New subscribers and those wo wish to order individual copies should contact Search‘s Honorary Treasurer, Michael Denton, at email@example.com
All previous issues are freely available at www.searchjournal.ireland.anglican.org
The challenges of the continuing pandemic dominate almost every article in this issue, from the Archbishop of Armagh’s call for repentance and a re–thinking of our vocation to Dr Christopher Shiell’s exposition of the lack of climate–friendly church heating and what is needed to achieve it.
Through every article, whether explicitly or implicitly, lies the question of how we think about God and God’s action in the world and in our lives. This is addressed directly and passionately by Dr Jerusha McCormack in “God and the Pandemic: Living the Question”, addressing the deep and painful questions that have afflicted us in relation to God down the millennia.
Eschatological issues, so dominant today, are further considered in two articles written by theologians in answer to the question “What do we mean when we say we believe in the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come?” Professor David Ford offers his reflections based on John’s Gospel, on which he has just completed his Theological Commentary, and the Revd Dr William Olhausen follows with his interpretation from a Pauline perspective.
QUB sociologist Dr Gladys Ganiel usefully outlines the results of her recent survey on “Faith Leaders’ response to the pandemic”, majoring on the responses about both faith and practice received from Church of Ireland clergy. There is much that is helpful here as we seek to discern the way forward both for worship, for outreach and for pastoral care.
Finally, Eileen Cremin reflects on her ministry as curate and rector in the diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross over the past twenty years. Being both Black and British when she arrived here after thirteen years of ordained ministry in the Church of England brought some difficulties she had not anticipated. There are lessons here for the Church’s welcome to incoming clergy of all backgrounds. – Church of Ireland Notes, Irish Times.
Pointers to Prayer
Pray for the reopening of the community garden on the Glencairn estate; that it will become a place for people to meet, children to learn about gardening skills and to support the local youth work.
Pray for Church Army key workers who are involved in distributing food and supplies; that they will have new opportunities to make connections with the people who visit.
God in creation
Shades of Gold
So many shades of gold
Another miracle we take for granted
Another expression of the artist’s vision
The blending of the autumn hues
with the setting sun
Thank you for autumn, Lord.
Photo – Gerry Murray